Join San Francisco’s literary leaders and luminaries for this year’s Litquake, an annual literature festival that runs from October 7 till 15, where you can explore everything from the creative to the clandestine at events like a secret subterranean reading series and an interpretive poetry party.
Made up of 500 authors participating in over 100 events ranging from performances to panels, you can explore surf lit, short stories, sci-fi and more through Litquake’s full week’s worth of workshops, readings and shows.
Most of the events are free and open to the public, so here are our five favorite fun (and cheap) picks for this year’s festival.
Devil’s Lexicon Kick-Off Party
Sip drink specials as you dance and have some devilish fun at the Devil’s Lexicon kick-off party for this year’s festival, where you can mingle with authors, readers, vote in their “favorite lit-vid” contest and more. Admission to this 21+, no-host bar event is free to donors and $5 otherwise, so come early and celebrate the start of another festival season in salacious style.
Verdi Club (2424 Mariposa St., SF) | Friday, October 7 | 8p | FREE*
*Free to donors, $5 at the door otherwise.
“The Great Night” in Buena Vista Park
Pack a basket and bring a blanket for a magical evening of fairy-inspired merriment at Buena Vista Park to celebrate Chris Adrian’s novel The Great Night. So dress warmly to take in gorgeous evening views of the twinkling city below and listen to readings and performances by everyone from Lemony Snicket to a dreamy string quartet and Booksmith’s Literary Clown Foolery troupe.
Buena Vista Park Summit, Buena Vista Park (Haight St. & Buena Vista Ave., SF) | Sunday, October 9 | 4p | FREE
Join Joe’s Barbershop in the Castro as it’s transformed into a nightclub for one-night-only, and hear from the likes of Nick Krieger, Rob Rosen and other authors from the city’s LGBT community for Litquake’s “Barbershop Reading,” which will make for “a little off and over the top” Tuesday night.
Joe’s Barbershop (2150 Market St., SF) | Tuesday, October 11 | 9p | FREE*
*Free, though there is $5-$10 suggested donation.
Mystery City Tour
An alternative, self-guided audio tour through the city streets of San Francisco, Invisible City Audio Tours also incorporates original words, music, sound and visual art into their historic neighborhood walks. Their newest tour, “Everywhere Man,” invites you to solve a modern mystery while riding the city’s cable cars, so join your guide in downtown San Francisco to pick up a limited-edition book & map and embark on a fascinating tour that could take you anywhere from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Fairmont.
Cable Car Turnaround (Market St. & Powell St., SF) | Saturday, October 15 | 2p | FREE
Lit Crawl 2011
Come out for the Lit Crawl, the world’s largest free literary crawl, which will take over the streets of San Francisco’s Mission District in celebration of the final night of Litquake. Featuring 450 readers and 79 readings in three jam-packed hours, get ready to visit bookstores, bars and even a beekeeping supply store. So check out the schedule and finish off this literary festival with an evening of stories and socializing in places ranging from cafes to Clarion Alley.
Mission District | Saturday, October 15 | 6-9p | FREE*
*Free and open to the public, though some venues may be 21+.
Looking for another Litquake event? Here are some highlights from their calendar for each day.
Friday, October 7: The Devil’s Lexicon.
Saturday, October 8: Writing from prison & indie publishing.
Sunday, October 9: Writers at the bar & from North Beach.
Monday, October 10: SF Conservatory of Flowers & MFA Student Game Show.
Tuesday, October 11: Hiking in the hills & Chuck Klosterman reading.
Wednesday, October 12: Kidquake & Mary Roach reading.
Thursday, October 13: Subterranean Litanies of Noir & Literary Death Match.
Friday, October 14: Music writers & the mysteries of Kafka.
Saturday, October 15: The Art of Mystery & Short Fiction.